Briana Marie Johnson
The treasurer of the Barnwell Primary School Parent Teacher Organization is accused of using hundreds of dollars in organization funds for personal use.
Briana Marie Johnson, 28, of 194 Hidden Valley Trail, Barnwell, was arrested Aug. 29 by the Barnwell County Sheriff's Office. She is charged with embezzlement.
The arrest came after the school performed a routine check and balance on the PTO's checkbook at the start of the school year, something they do several times a year. "It didn't balance," said BPS Principal Donna Selvey. "Once we suspected anything, we immediately turned it over to the sheriff's office."
The PTO's checkbook was balanced before school ended in June, she said.
Surveillance cameras at area banks, ATMs and stores revealed Johnson, who was in charge of the PTO's checkbook and debit card account, withdrew money and wrote checks for personal use, the report states.
These charges and withdrawals occurred over the summer, said Selvey.
"These withdrawals were not authorized or used for Barnwell PTO," states a BCSO incident report.
After her arrest, Johnson admitted to using the debit card several times and writing two checks for personal use - one in the amount of $650 and one for $200. She purchased food at McDonald's as well as clothes and other items from Walmart, states the report.
When Johnson was arrested, she turned over the checkbook and debit card to the arresting officer, the report states.
Johnson was released to the Barnwell County Detention Center.
In light of the incident, Selvey said they are adding more checks and balances to try and prevent this from happening again. This includes having two people sign off on any transfer of funds, she said.
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